Tagged in: veteran

Seattle Seahawks sign Mychal Kendricks to practice squad

The Seahawks made a modification at safety Wednesday with Lano Hill going to IR, promoting Damarious Randall from the practice squad. They also brought back a familiar face at linebacker. 

Damarious Randall has already been elevated from the practice squad twice to play in the Seahawks’ past two matches, and now the veteran safety has a spot on the 53-man roster, having been signed Wednesday to take the spot of safety Lano Hill, who was placed on injured reserve with a back injury that has kept him out of the past three games.

The Seahawks also added a pair of veteran linebackers to the practice squad, signing Mychal Kendricks, a 14-game starter for Seattle last campaign, and Ray-Ray Armstrong, an eight-year veteran who has appeared in 84 games over his career with the Cowboys, 49ers, Giants, Raiders, Rams and Browns.

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Randall, a 2015 first-round pick with 56 career starts on his resume, signed to Seattle’s practice squad ahead of the Week 4 game at Miami, and was elevated from the practice squad both for that game and the Week 5 victory over Minnesota. Under a new rule this season, practice squad players can be elevated for game weekends without counting towards the 53-man roster limit, but can only do so twice, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll indicated on Monday that this move could be coming with Randall.

“I hope we’ll get to see more of Randall going forward,” Carroll stated. “He’s a good ballplayer and he’s been around us now enough as he’s starting to dig in. So I’m excited about what he can add.”

Carroll’s Monday press conference also hinted that Hill’s move to IR could be coming.

“Lano’s got some issues with his back that haven’t really turned in the right direction,” Carroll said. “We’re looking after him right now. He’s not ready to come back yet.”

Kendricks, a former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, started 17 games for the Seahawks over the past two campaigns after signing with the Seahawks late in the 2018 season, both at weakside and strongside linebacker.

Last year Kendricks had 71 tackles, 3.0 sacks and one interception as Seattle’s starting strongside linebacker, but tore his ACL in Week 17, causing him to miss Seattle’s two playoff games. Kendricks is the latest accomplished veteran to join Seattle’s practice squad after Randall and former All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

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Le’Veon Bell released by New York Jets

The New York Jets’ rocky relationship with Le’Veon Bell came to a sudden end on Tuesday when the Jets informed they had released the running back.

It ended a 19-month tenure that was filled with disappointment and broken promises. Bell, who arrived as a marquee free agent in 2019, never clicked with coach Adam Gase, who opposed the signing from the outset.

“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” the team said in a statement.

“The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

As a vested veteran, Bell is not subject to waivers. He will be a free agent at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

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Frustrated by his lack of participation in the offense, Bell met with Gase and general manager Joe Douglas on Monday, a source said. They told Bell they would explore a trade, and they gave his agent authorization to speak with other teams.

The Jets contacted every team but found the contract was difficult to move.

They were willing to eat some of the $6 million remaining on his 2020 base salary, but the sticking point was an $8 million injury guarantee in 2021, a source said. No team wanted to take on that much risk, fearing a serious injury this campaign.

In the end, neither did the Jets. They could’ve continued to shop him until the Nov. 3 trading deadline, hoping to recoup a late-round pick, but they too were wary of the injury guarantee, knowing they were planning to cut him in the offseason.

The Jets are responsible for the remaining $6 million on Bell’s 2020 base pay, but there’s an offset clause that will defray it by the amount of the salary on a new contract with his next team.

Bell returned to the lineup on Sunday and carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards. He was targeted only once in the passing game.

On several occasions, Gase talked about getting Bell more involved as a receiver. On Sunday, rookie running back La’Mical Perine saw no action.

Bell’s departure should create playing time for Perine, who will share the workload with the 37-year-old Gore.

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Detroit Lions likely to roll with veteran Adrian Peterson as lead running back

Adrian Peterson had more snaps, rushes and yards than the rest of the Detroit Lions’ running backs combined Sunday. And based on what his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, stated Tuesday, it looks as though the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer might end up being the lead back for the club for the immediate future as well.

Peterson played 40 snaps in the Lions’ 26-23 victory versus Arizona on Sunday, getting 22 carries for 75 yards along with one catch for 10 yards. That followed two weeks of a committee approach among Peterson, Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift.

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Those situations come with Peterson atop the depth chart.

Detroit signed Peterson after he was released by Washington on Sept. 4. He said he had the chance to go to a couple of teams, but he selected the Lions because of an opportunity to play again with Bevell, who was his offensive coordinator at the start of his career in Minnesota.

So far, Peterson has averaged 4.9 yards per carry (43 attempts, 209 yards). Johnson has averaged 3.4 yards (18 attempts, 62 yards), while rookie Swift is averaging 2.5 yards (8 attempts, 20 yards).

Bevell did praise Johnson on Sunday, calling him the “player of the game” due to his pass-protection pickup and the nuances that led to Jesse James’ touchdown reception.

But it appears Johnson, who has been Detroit’s lead back when healthy the past two campaigns, might not touch the ball as much as he has in the past.

The question now might be whether the Lions have to manage Peterson’s workload. He has already played in 167 career games and carried the ball 3,079 times for 14,425 rushing yards. Plus, he’s at an age when most running backs are retired or playing a much less significant role.

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Buccaneers sign kicker Ryan Succop, waive Elliott Fry

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reshuffled their kicking competition with less than two weeks left before they open up the regular season versus the New Orleans Saints.

On Tuesday, the club announced that it has signed veteran kicker Ryan Succop and released Elliott Fry. Succop takes Fry’s place on the roster and will now directly compete with second-year incumbent kicker Matt Gay for the job in 2020. 

Succop signed a minimum one-year deal with Tampa Bay, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, that will pay him just $150,000 in guarantees so there isn’t much financial risk here.

The 33-year-old will have to make quick work proving that he’s a better option than Gay, however, as there are just four days left before Saturday’s roster cuts. 

The veteran has 11 seasons in the NFL under his belt and has netted 82.2% of his field goals throughout his career. Injuries derailed his 2019 campaign but he was able to hit 86.7% of his field goals and 90.3% of his extra points during his last full season in the league in 2018.

After coming off of IR in late October last year, Succop appeared in six games before landing back on IR in December.

Over that stretch, he hit one of his six field-goal tries and was 24-of-25 on extra points. 

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“I’m looking for consistency on the gimmes,” head coach Bruce Arians stated on Sunday when he was asked about what he’s looking for in a kicker.

“We can’t miss extra points. We can’t give away easy points. Kicks inside the 30-yard line should be automatic. If you can make a 56 yarder, that’s great. But, when we drive the ball down to the 10[-yard line] and miss a field goal, there’s nothing that tears a team more apart on offense than, ‘Hey, we just took the ball down the field and we didn’t get any points.’ So, the ‘gimmes’ – who’s the most consistent? If you can do that and still kick 56, 57[-yard field goals], now you’re All-Pro.”

Arians added on Monday that it’s mildly unsettling that the Buccaneers do not have a stable kicker with the regular season approaching, but said: “Whoever we line up out there, we’re going to have confidence in.”

As for Gay, he converted 77.1% of his field goals during his rookie year after Tampa Bay picked him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Utah. Gay also hit 89.6% of his extra-point attempt.

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Titans sign veteran QB Trevor Siemian as backup

Logan Woodside is no longer the second-most experienced quarterback on the Titans roster.

The team on Wednesday signed veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian to a one-year deal, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. Siemian will contest Woodside for the backup quarterback role behind starter Ryan Tannehill.

Also, the team cut seventh-round pick Cole McDonald, a source confirmed to The Tennessean. McDonald had struggled through the early portion of training camp.

Siemian, 28, was a seventh-round pick of the Broncos in 2015 and brings with him the NFL experience that Woodside lacks. Siemian has played in 27 matches in his NFL career, including 25 starts. He’s 13-12 in those games.

For his career, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Siemian has completed 59.2% of his passes and has thrown for 5,689 yards with 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He signed a one-year deal with the Jets in March 2019, but an ankle injury ended his season in September. Before appearing in one game for New York, Siemian’s last time seeing game action came in December 2017.

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Woodside, a seventh-round pick out of Toledo in 2018, has yet to take a snap in an NFL game.

He spent time on the Titans’ practice squad in each of the past two seasons and has earned high praise this offseason as he vies for the backup quarterback role.

“He’s earned the opportunity right now to earn the job,” Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara stated last week of Woodside. “The rest remains to be seen.” Earlier this month, Tannehill said, “I love playing with guys like (Woodside) who enjoy playing the game, enjoy the daily grind, the preparation, the hard work. He’s been a guy like that since Day 1. … He’s accurate. He can make all the throws. I feel like mentally, he’s mastering this offense just from being in it for a few years now. I feel like he has all the tools needed. It’s just a matter of going out and making it happen.”

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Yonder Alonso returns to Padres in exchange for Braves

The Padres have obtained first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Braves for cash, Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. He’ll join the Padres’ taxi squad. Alonso had been with the Braves on a minor league contract since the winter, and he hasn’t accrued an at-bat this year.

Now 33 years old, Alonso’s a veteran of a handful of major league organizations since he joined the Reds as the seventh overall pick in 2008.

Alonso’s no stranger to the Padres, who acquired him in a 2011 blockbuster with the Reds, but he made a minimum impact in San Diego before it dealt him to Oakland in 2015.

Alonso had his best season between Oakland and Seattle in 2017, but he has generally offered middling production relative to his offensively charged position.

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He has taken 3,773 plate appearances in the majors, including a combined 335 between the White Sox and Rockies last year, and batted .259/.332/.404 (102 wRC+) with 100 home runs.

Now that he’s back with the Padres, Alonso will provide the club a bit of insurance at first behind Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth and Ty France.

He’s also now part of the same organization as brother-in-law Manny Machado, the Padres’ third baseman.

It’s also the city where Machado and Alonso’s sister make their home out of season.

“I’m really excited to finally have my brother-in-law on the same team,” Machado said Tuesday after the Padres beat the Dodgers 6-2.

Alonso was on the Braves’ shortlist after failing to show up to their other training site. It will report to the Padres alternate site at the University of San Diego. He is being brought in ostensibly for depth at first base but also to work with young hitters and give the young pitchers at the alternate site a veteran hitter to work against.

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Lamar Miller, Patriots agree to one-year deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars are down two more defensive linemen, bringing their total Lamar Miller is heading to New England. The veteran running back is signing with the Patriots pending a physical, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It’ll be a one-year deal for Miller.

It was just about one year ago that the 29-year-old tore his ACL in a preseason contest while playing for the Texans. As Schefter notes on Twitter, the running back is “said to he fully recovered and ready to play this season.” Miller had been with the Texans since 2016, and he earned a Pro Bowl nod during his last healthy season.

During that 2018 campaign, the veteran rushed for five scores and 973 yards on 210 carries (4.6 yards per carry) while adding 25 receptions for 163 receiving yards and one touchdown. While he only rushed for 18 yards during that season’s playoff loss to the Colts, he did add eight receptions for 63 yards.

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Prior to his stint with the Texans, the former fourth-rounder spent the first four seasons of his career with the Dolphins. This included 2014 and 2015 campaigns where he averaged 985.5 rushing yards and eight touchdowns per season.

Miller is joining a very crowded depth chart in New England, and today’s signing makes it even more uncertain. 

Sony Michel disappointed during his sophomore campaign (and he’s currently sitting on the PUP), but he still managed to finish the 2019 season with 912 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

The team is also rostering versatile veterans like James White and Rex Burkhead, and there was some hope that 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris could contribute following a pseudo-redshirt year. Of course, that running game should also feature plenty of Cam Newton.

While Miller’s path to a roster spot is more uncertain than the quarterback’s, the duo could be called on to lead a revamped New England offense in 2020.

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Jets release veteran starting right guard Brian Winters

The New York Jets have released Brian Winters, who started at right guard until being sidelined by an injury last year and was the team’s longest-tenured player.

The timing of the release is surprising because general manager Joe Douglas said lately that Winters would be given a chance to go to training camp and compete for the starting job.

Winters was due to make a non-guaranteed $7.3 million in the final year of a four-year, $29 million contract. There will be no cap hit for the Jets; the entire $7.3 million comes off the books.

The Jets overhauled their offensive line in the offseason, including signing guard Greg Van Roten to a three-year deal.

Van Roten is expected to be the team’s starter at right guard this campaign.

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The Jets also re-signed starting left guard Alex Lewis and signed center Connor McGovern and tackle George Fant to multiyear contracts. In addition, the Jets used their first-round draft pick (11th overall) on offensive tackle Mekhi Becton.

A starter since his rookie year in 2013, Winters suffered a shoulder injury last training camp but started the regular season in his familiar right guard position and lasted nine matches before succumbing to the pain. He underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve.

Winters, 29, is known for his toughness. In 2017, he missed only three games despite an abdominal tear, which required surgery after the season.

The following year, he didn’t miss a single snap on offense. He entered the league in 2013 as a third-round pick out of Kent State. He was second to running back Bilal Powell as the longest-tenured Jets on the 2019 team. Winters has appeared in 89 games, including 79 starts, over nine seasons.

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Short handed Nets reach deal with veteran guard Jamal Crawford

When the Brooklyn Nets boarded their plane out of New York on Tuesday, there were only 12 healthy players on board. But reinforcements are coming. Jamal Crawford is signing with the Nets for the remainder of the season, league sources told ESPN.

Crawford, 40, will fill one of the Nets’ three vacant substitute roster spots. Crawford is qualified to be signed after Brooklyn had three players — Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince — test positive for the coronavirus.

All three have been ruled out for the campaign restart in Orlando, Florida. Wilson Chandler, citing familial obligations, also did not make the trip. The team signed forward Justin Anderson in his place.

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Now the Nets have two roster spots available to be filled.

According to NBA rules, Crawford could fly or drive to Florida. If he hasn’t been tested regularly since June 23 — when the league started testing players every other day — he will need to quarantine and be tested every day for a week in Orlando before he will be eligible to join his new teammates on the court.

Crawford hasn’t played in the NBA in the 2019-20 season. He most recently played for the Phoenix Suns and scored 51 points in the last match he played in 2019. The 20-year veteran has averaged 14.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over the course of his career.

The Nets arrived in Orlando on Tuesday as one of the 22 NBA teams listed to resume games on July 30. They are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic, who currently hold the final playoff spot.

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Tim Jernigan says deal with Texans off, still free agent

The Houston Texans deal with veteran defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, Jr. has actually fallen apart. 

According to a source, Jernigan is healthy but both sides have opted to move in different directions allowing the veteran to find a new team for 2020.

The team will continue to look for defensive line depth heading towards the regular campaign

Jernigan despite reports saying he struck a deal with the Texans was never placed on the roster on the team’s website. Cornerback Bradley Roby is still waiting for his deal to become official, his name is not with the team roster at this point either.

The Texans reached a verbal agreement with Jernigan on April 1st but could not close the deal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texans could not get Jernigan in for a physical due to travel controls and the NFL closing down the facilities to take a look at players. 

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The team acknowledged the signing of Jernigan during the off-season and head coach Bill O’Brien called the signing of the veteran defensive tackle, “a big get for us to be able to bring Timmy Jernigan onto our roster.”

The deal with Jernigan was a one-year deal worth $3.75 million with $1.25 million guaranteed according to his agent Bill Johnson.

Timmy Jernigan has been known as a run-stuffer since arriving at the league in 2014 with Baltimore. He has made his way in the NFL that way with Philadelphia but 2019 was littered with injuries. 

The Texans drafted defensive tackle Ross Blacklock in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of TCU helping bring in much-needed youth to their defensive front. The Texans are expecting Blacklock to be part of their defensive line rotation during his rookie campaign. 

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